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  • Looking for inspiration...

    I recently came up with a general outline for a M&M campaign but have been having trouble developing ideas for encounters. Here's what I have so far:

    The players start out as an established group (I believe it will be a Trio).
    Story opens with the heroes in their hideout/fortress/meeting hall etc... They have some sort of crime monitoring system (the type depends on how high-tech the players decide they want to go). They will hear on a news show an announcement of progress on construction of a new highrise office building (I will try to work it in casually so as not to draw too much attention to start). The main Villain will be in prison (by the hands of the heroes, years earlier) but organizing other villains, many of whom would not normally work together, from within. The highrise will have been commissioned and funded by the main villain, and secret construction of a large underground facility beneath the building will begin in "Phase II" of the master plan to lure the heroes into a deathtrap maze (inside the underground facility). The villains will be using announcements of the consruction project to send secret messages and organize crimes.

    Most of the phases should involve the stealing of various pieces of technology required for the deathtrap maze by one group of villains while another group distracts the heroes. Obviously, each phase will last longer than a single encounter and, therefore, should culminate in the theft of the tech while the rest of the phase would include events/encounters leading up to said theft.
    I am planning on 4-5 Phases to the master plan (maybe more).

    After the heroes have been trapped in the underground facility, security cameras will capture and broadcast the (intended) destruction of the beloved heroes. The main Villain will address them directly (audio only) saying that he had never been captured and imprisioned and it was only one of his loyal minions. This is, of course, a lie intended to cause the guards (who were too scarred of the villain to check his identity thoroughly) to check his cell, which will allow him to escape, just in time to get to the Deathtrap for the final, epic battle.

    The setting will be Silver Age and Four-color (with a bit of a gritty edge).

  • #2
    Re: Looking for inspiration...

    Make the MacGuffins be something funky or stolen from a very public place. Silver age heroes are all about sitting around eating donuts until the villains actually do something. For example:

    Super Dangerous non-OSHA approved laboratory where the Unstablum canister is! (DONT SHAKE IT)

    Meteoroid thing kept in the middle of the most crowded museum in the city!

    Antennae thingy from the top of Very Large Building, PERILOUS!

    At least one place they get information about the theft ahead of time but it is TOTALLY A TRAP.

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    • #3
      Re: Looking for inspiration...

      Nearly forgot:

      They've already got the (Who Cares?) and are escaping! After them!

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      • #4
        Re: Looking for inspiration...

        Borrow a page from Time of Vengeance and do a News Roundup with several items so the building hook isn't immediately obvious. Do this each session and mix in other recurring items or follow ups to further hide the secret.

        Andrew
        - Andrew <:-{}

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        • #5
          Re: Looking for inspiration...

          thoughts that come to mind:

          -Are you keeping the true purpose of the high-rise secret from your PC's? If so, prepare fake news headlines or newspaper clippings that your PC's can keep and eventually use to deduce the villain's "secret code".. so maybe 1 or 2 is impossible to deduce it from.. but 3-5 are gettign progressively obvious.. and ultimately.. you can just tell them with an NPC..

          -Encounters to steal weapons? Oh man.. Anything from "Theft from Weapon Lab" to something like a hi-jacked delivery truck that crashes off the highway and contains [insert deadly material here]; the heroes need to not only save the poor driver (bound gagged) but stop the villains from making off with the contents.

          -it all kinda depends on what 'death traps' you have planned.. live animals? Encounter at the zoo, let the players deduce what animal is being targeted; but ultimately, its probably not the one they thought of.

          -have one of the villains chicken out.. and go nuts, maybe kidnaps a bunch of people at a rooftop bar.. he's panicking, because he knows {Master Villain} is after him.. but also doesn't want to go back to jail.. the hero's have to defuse the situation and maybe learn some of the master plan.. before other villains execute the turncoat.

          sounds like you got a good start though..
          "Oh poop!" (inexact translation) Author Unknown, Pompeii circa 79 A.D.

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          • #6
            Re: Looking for inspiration...

            Thank you for all the suggestions! I have developed the story quite a bit since my original post and have finally figured out something that has been eluding me: the investigation angle! I am going to have the villain performing the robberies be an Astral Projector and Mind Controller - He uses his astral form to infiltrate places with items that need to be stolen for the master plan, mind controls someone, directs them to steal the item and bring it to a special location where he or a trusted henchman would later go to pick it up. After the drop is made, he leads the mind controlled victim off to another location and releases him. The heroes will have to track victims down (as many of them will have been fired or incarcerated following the theft) and question them to try and track down their assailant. He won't put up much of a fight when confronted in person.

            I have been searching online for a site where I can create a newspaper front page (Ideally with a headline, picture, and 2 smaller articles) so I can give the players a hard copy of the news instead of trying to casually shoehorn it into the narrative. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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            • #7
              Re: Looking for inspiration...

              Oh, and the deathtraps are going to be rife with cliché, from lasers to Crocodile pits!

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              • #8
                Re: Looking for inspiration...

                Originally posted by Harridan View Post
                Oh, and the deathtraps are going to be rife with cliché, from lasers to Crocodile pits!
                Crocodiles with frickin' lasers on their heads!

                Oh, how I love doing it Old School...
                - Andrew <:-{}

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                • #9
                  Re: Looking for inspiration...

                  Don't get me wrong, the primary antagonist abhors clichés, but the henchmen/lackeys/underlings/what-have-you that he left in charge while he was in prison, being given the creative freedom that comes with knowing the boss isn't looking over your shoulder, completely abandoned creativity and bought a copy of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Super Villainy"

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                  • #10
                    Re: Looking for inspiration...

                    Well, I have several "main encounters" lined up: Kindly old toy shop owner with the power to animate toys used to use his power to entertain kids but slowly went crazy over the years and eventually began driving customers from his shop because they were trying to 'steal his friends', Someone reactivated the equipment in the old abandoned Ironworks (where a pair of former workers-turned-creatures-of-animated -molten-metal were trapped in the cooled OSHA-viloating open vats of metal) and the heroes have to get there and shut it down before they get out again (too late!), and a few others as well. These encounters that have interesting elements where it isn't just a straight-up brawl will be the distractions from the secret thefts. I want to have several (2-3) game sessions between these 'campaign key moments' where there are more traditional encounters, I have built a bunch of villains and have ideas for their tactics but am having a hard time coming up with crimes for them to be committing (you can only do so many bank roberies/public event disruptions before it starts getting tedious. I want most of these to seem like legitimate (if somewhat petty) crimes on the surface but if you look into it, there will seem to be no real purpose to them, as though all the villains in the city are just playing Joker to the heroes' Batman (the crimes are just being committed to to mess with the heroes).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Looking for inspiration...

                      You could also introduce a villain who does the Riddler thing: they could commit flawless crimes and have the PCs never catch/defeat them, but due to a desire or need to prove their superiority they handicap themselves.

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